Criminal Justice

Pistol-Packing Texas Gov Isn't Sorry He Shot Coyote, Despite Legal Questions

When a coyote threatened his labrador retriever puppy during an early morning jog in the Austin area, Texas Gov. Rick Perry reportedly killed it with a single shot from his laser-sighted pistol.

He says he has no regrets about using his .380 Ruger pistol, loaded with hollow-point bullets, to take out the animal, even though legal questions are now being raised about the February incident, according to the Associated Press and the Texas Politics blog of the Houston Chronicle.

Perry’s staff told Texas Politics that, under state’s Health and Safety Code, a wild animal that is about to attack domestic animals may be killed; they also cited an exception in the state’s penal code concerning wild animals that threaten humans.

The municipal code for the city of Austin prohibits most such shootings. However, it isn’t clear whether the governor was jogging outside city limits.

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